PLANTATION, Fla. / BONN, Germany – DHL, the world's leading express delivery and logistics company, today announced that the independent United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance have commissioned DHL to assume the logistics management of international flights carrying relief supplies for the Gulf Coast region of the United States that was struck by Hurricane Katrina.
Beginning today, DHL, the express and logistics subsidiary of Deutsche Post World Net, is mobilizing its Disaster Response Team to assist with shipments of international aid arriving at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the next two weeks, relief supplies will be unloaded from aircraft around the clock and packed into trucks bound for the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
DHL’s Disaster Response Team will be led by Chris Weeks, Senior Manager of DHL, and supported by 20 DHL employees who have volunteered their logistics expertise to help the hurricane victims. Weeks successfully directed logistics efforts conducted by the Disaster Response Team at the Colombo airport in Sri Lanka following the tsunami in December 2004. His team helped coordinate the delivery of approximately 7,000 tons of relief supplies to the affected areas.
“DHL and Deutsche Post World Net consider expeditious assistance and logistics support to disaster-impacted areas to be part of their mission of social responsibility,” said Kay Hart, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for DHL. “Through our global transportation network and logistics service offering, DHL ensures that much-needed relief supplies like food, water and clothing are delivered quickly during crises around the world.”
Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, DHL has also been implementing operational contingency plans in an effort to speed the recovery process and resume operations as soon as possible, minimizing the impact on customers’ shipments. Beginning today, DHL will begin new daily air express service into Baton Rouge, LA with the first air express industry jet aircraft ever to land at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport -- a DHL-branded DC-9 aircraft with payload capacity of over 25,000 lbs. DHL is the first express delivery company to implement a full cargo operation out of Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in order to support customers along the Gulf Coast who previously depended on DHL’s New Orleans operation for service.
“Our team has worked incredibly hard since the disaster to resume service across the Gulf Coast for customers who depend on DHL services,” said Fred Beljaars, Executive Vice President of Operations for DHL. “Sadly, the operational landscape across the region has changed. But by transferring our operations to Baton Rouge, DHL will once again be able to service the majority of the affected areas, providing our customers with a superior service experience.”
Last week, DHL announced that it would donate up to $500,000 of in-kind shipping services toward immediate relief efforts and the reconstruction of the affected area. The total outlay will include immediate air and ground logistics and transportation support for The American Red Cross, official government relief agencies, and other organizations active in relief efforts and long-term rebuilding activities in the affected areas.
To support general fundraising efforts, DHL is providing a link from its home page, www.dhl-usa.com, for customers and the general public to donate to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund. In an additional outlay, DHL is matching the first $100,000 of contributions to the web site to support DHL Express and DHL Danzas Air & Ocean employees who have lost their homes and possessions in the stricken areas. These proceeds will be distributed to impacted employees based on individual needs as well as to the American Red Cross for additional hurricane relief. Friends and relatives of DHL employees who wish to contribute to this fund may do so by logging on to https://onlinebilling.dhl-usa.com/hurricanekatrina/.
It will be used for redevelopment and future use as an airport/commerce park.
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